Friday, September 4, 2009

2009 Japan Wado Kai Championships - Erica's report

Erica (in her Shiramizu t-shirt) in front the tournament sign which states;
''dai yon-ju-go kai wadokai zen-nippon karatedo kyogi taikai''
''45th Annual Wadokai National Athletic Championships''

Erica here.

The second day I got to Japan, I was told that I had been entered into the Wadokai National Championships. At the time, I still had 2 months to prepare so I was not as nervous as I should have been. But time went by very quickly and before I knew it, it was the weekend before the tournament already!

Like Louise, I had not participated in a tournament for quite some time. I think the last one I entered was while I was still in high school (which is about 7-8 years ago). The mandatory preliminary kata for my division was Kushanku and I practiced it at every class before the competition.

Unlike Louise, neither my kata nor kumite scores very close to winning. In fact, it was quite the opposite. All 5 flags in kata were for the other girl and in kumite, I lost 6-0. In all fairness, my sparring partner went on to winning gold for kata. These results were expected, so I wasn’t too upset. I know there is much I need to work on and that is why I’m here.

It was a little heartbreaking to see some of the younger kids burst into tears when they didn’t make it to the next round because you could tell that they had trained very hard and put all their efforts in. Even some of the older competitors shed tears when they didn’t make it through. I guess those are the ones who had very high expectations for themselves.

The second day, we were at the Nippon Budokan and I was a spectator. It was fun sitting with all the parents and watching the different rings and cheering as members from the dojo were up. Before the demonstration performed by Shiramizu members, there was a mass warm-up where all the competitors were lined up and lead by Arakawa Sensei. After that, they all did kata which was really cool to watch. At the end of the day, although none of the Shiramizu competitors received gold, some of them went home with silver and bronze and each one of them knowing they had done their best.

All competitors participating in Pinan Nidan

Masatoshi getting his hair done by Yuki before the competition

Group picture!

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